Interview with WXLV abc45

A couple weeks ago I chatted with Carol Andrews, station host at WXLV abc45, about my mural project along the Longbranch trail in Winston-Salem, NC. We talked about how the project came about with Innovation Quarter and what it was like painting outdoors along the trail. The interview just went live, and you can watch it HERE on the station site.

Thank you to Carol Andrews and Lori Bates for the opportunity and for their excellent work on this story!

 

What’s in a name?

People often ask me about my painting titles, “how do I come up with them?”or “what do they mean?”
Well I have a sort of system for titling works that don’t have an obvious name (unlike my installation Paper Mountain that was named just what it was). I keep a little notebook for title ideas. When I need to title a painting, I look through the notebook for inspiration. If none of the ideas feel right for the work, my ritual is to pull out a stack of Mary Oliver poetry books and to read until I notice words or snippets that resonate with me. I write them down and then riff off those or combine them to make my new titles. In the end I pick titles that I hope will invite curiosity, thinking and dreaming.

Below you’ll see “Among the weeds and other blossoming things,” one painting that I named using some Mary Oliver poetry and my little book of ideas. This painting is 40×30 inches, oil and acrylic on canvas, and available from my shop where you’ll find other paintings with names that are hopefully as evocative.

Among the Weeds and Other Blossoming Things, oil and acrylic on canvas, 40 x 30 inches

Winston Salem Journal Features Long Branch Mural

I came home from a bike ride Sunday morning to find a lovely feature on my newest mural in the Winston Salem Journal. Thank you Lynn Felder for the interview and Walt Unks for the photography and WS Journal for the feature! Scroll down to read the interview or see it on the Journal website.

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August 15, 2020 – On a bright August day with a blue sky and puffy clouds overhead, Jessica Singerman was working close to the ground, lettering her signature onto the lower right-hand corner of a large, outdoor painting – the traditional spot for artists to sign their work.

Singerman, an avid painter and nature lover, was putting the finishing touches on a 50-foot long mural on a retaining wall that borders the Long Branch Trail. The trail, which was opened in 2018, runs from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, through the Innovation Quarter and under Business 40 to Salem Creek Greenway.

Making a painting on a biking-hiking-walking path let her combine several of her passions.

“For me, the project was 100% aligned with what I believe in and love,” Singerman said. “Making the painting along the path felt perfect to me, because people who bike and run and walk can enjoy it. It really felt aligned with the things I care about.

“Going into the outdoors has always been like coming home to me. I moved around a lot as a kid, and I often felt like an outsider. Now being outside — or looking at photos of the outside — serves as fodder for my work and feeds my work as an artist.”

Artist adventurer

Singerman’s mother is French, and her father was a French professor at Davidson College, so she grew up going back and forth between the two countries. She variously lived in Montpelier, Tours in the Loire Valley, and in suburbs of Paris.

“My father taught French, French culture and French cinema,” Singerman said. “The faculty at Davidson would take turns directing the Junior Year Abroad program. My husband and I speak French at home, so our son is able to have a relationship with my mother’s side of the family who still live in France.”

She and husband, Tim Bowman, who works in the School of Filmmaking at UNC School of the Arts, have a son, 7. Her interest in cycling and art developed simultaneously. She’s also a runner, took ballet, was a modern dancer and a yoga teacher.

“I rode to get around as a kid in Davidson,” Singerman said. “And I got more into it in graduate school — road biking, racing, cycle cross. I started running as a kid.”

She has had many peak biking experiences, starting with touring France for the first time in 2003: “(It was) the hottest summer on record. Then I worked for Trek Travel for a while. I guided trips for them all over the world and managed different destinations.”

Singerman is president of the Piedmont Flyers, a local bicycling club, but they are inactive now because of the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“As a kid, I was always drawing,” Singerman said, but a life-drawing class when she was 15 at Musée des Beaux-Arts de Tours made her begin to take her art more seriously.

Singerman received her Masters of Fine Arts in 2004 from the University of Delaware. Her watercolors are the subject of a book published in 2017, “Little Watercolor Squares,” and her award-winning paintings and drawings are exhibited and collected internationally.

After graduate school, she said she struggled to find her footing as an artist. She taught for a while. In Australia for her husband’s work, she kept her art supplies in a cardboard box and would unpack it and work a little every day.

Back in the states in 2013, she and Bowman moved into a home with a garage that was at her disposal. She began a steady practice of working daily and has been at it ever since.

“Having my son was big turning point,” she said. “I had an about-face and realized that if I didn’t do my work every day, I would lose myself in motherhood, so having a baby at 32 re-focused me.”

Singerman works in oil, acrylic, watercolor, drawing media, mixed media and video. “For me, it’s about the idea, and if it makes sense to use other media, that’s what I’ll do.”

She also coaches other artists.
“I feel strongly about my work, and coaching is a way to give back,” she said. “Many of us are having to juggle life and an art form, and I like being able to show that it’s possible — keeping up your creative practice, whether it’s carving out time for it or dedicating your day. … It’s difficult but possible.”

Mural connection

Lindsey Schwab, director of community relations for the Innovation Quarter, was part of a committee that selected Singerman to create the mural.

“Jessica was chosen because her pieces are fueled by nature and are landscape-driven, and we were really interested in applying that to an urban greenway,” Schwab said. “The impetus to start this project was a desire to create a piece of art on the Long Branch Trail that people could enjoy during this time of COVID-19.

“More and more people are enjoying the outdoors during the pandemic.”

Schwab said that the name of the piece is “Winston Strong.”

“The Long Branch Trail is such a resource for our community,” she said. “And Jessica’s mural is an example of the connectivity that the trail brings to the community.

“I love that it incorporates all the different elements that you can see from the trail — Pilot Mountain, the Innovation Quarter, and the United Metropolitan Baptist Church.”

Lisa and Bernard Faulk, out walking for exercise on the trail, were happy to see the mural, and were excited that their church was included.

“I like the range of images. The colors are calming. It’s a great location. As I climb that hill, it will probably be motivating,” Lisa Faulk said, laughing. “We walk Winston-Salem, here some days, some days at Reynolda and at Meadowlark.”

Singerman said that she is pleased to have done a project that contains both representational work and abstraction and combines her twin passions for art and the outdoors.

“It feels good to make something that can be seen by everyone,” she said. “Art is for everybody.”

Long Branch Trail mural in Winston Salem, NC

Last week I completed a mural along the Long Branch trail in Winston-Salem, NC. It was a real pleasure to paint outdoors with passing runners, walkers and cyclists giving me words of encouragement and approval.

The mural is 50-feet long and varies in height from 6’2″ to 7’6″. The project was commissioned by Innovation Quarter.

Know someone looking for a mural artist to paint something BIG? Send them here.

Long Branch Trail Mural in Winston-Salem, NC
detail of hand lettering on mural 
Jessica Singerman painting a mural along the Long Branch trail in Winston-Salem, NC.

ArtPop Billboard is up!

My billboard is up!
Conveniently, the billboard is located off of Route 52 at exit 112, so for my Triad friends, you can go hiking at Pilot Mountain, then see my billboard inspired by that very mountain as you drive back toward Winston Salem. The paintings on the billboard are from my exhibit last fall at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA), featuring views inspired by Pilot Mountain State Park.

My artwork is on this billboard because I won one of the ArtPop Street Gallery prizes for the Triad region this year. Thank you ArtPop Street Gallery, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Lamar Advertising and Adams Outdoor Advertising.

And look at the tiny billboard I won too! This is one of my all time favorite trophies.

Paintings at Piedmont Triad International Airport

I installed some paintings at Piedmont Triad International, my local airport last week. Here are some photos from the installation. Thanks to the team at the airport, it turned out great!

The large paintings are inspired by my time on Pilot Mountain and were featured in my exhibit at SECCA in 2019. The two smaller ones are from my Forces of Nature series. While they are up at the airport, they are still available for purchase from the Outside Collection in my web shop.

 

ArtPop 2020 Winner!

I am honored to share with you that my work was chosen for ArtPop this year and will be featured on billboards around the Triad region. Here’s the press release from the Art Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County.

The billboard features 3 paintings from my exhibition at Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art (SECCA) from last fall: “I must love you very much.”

Thank you Wendy Hickey, ArtPop Street Gallery, Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, Lamar Advertising and Adams Outdoor Advertising.

ArtPop logo

Make a watercolor botanical drawing with me

Hi everyone! Join me as I add watercolor to a botanical drawing. Here I’ll show you how to layer transparent watercolor in a loose relaxed way to add color to your drawings. This is the follow up to my Step-by-step botanical drawing video.

Share this freely!

If you are looking to dive deeper into watercolor, check out my new watercolor class HERE. It’s for all levels and features video lessons you can do at your own pace. See you in class!

Mindful Monday with Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art & AUCTION!

Some cool things happening next week!

AUCTION ON WEDNESDAY

On Wednesday May 13th, I’ll be hosting an auction right from my studio!

You’ll need to be on the Insider’s List to join in on the fun so if you’re not already, email me to sign up by the end of this week because my email with all the info goes out Monday.

MINDFUL MONDAY WITH ELDER GALLERY

I’m pleased to share with you that Elder Gallery of Contemporary Art invited me to host an Instagram Live event on Monday May 11th. Here’s the post about the event on their Instagram.

Mindful Monday with Jessica Singerman
Monday, May 11, 2020 | 10 am

Join us and gallery artist Jessica Singerman for a special “Mindful Monday” on Instagram. In addition to guiding us through a hands-on art exercise, she’ll discuss her current “new normal” during the pandemic as an artist, a teacher and a mother, and tips for staying grounded during these uncertain times. A great mid-morning art break for anyone working, teaching or learning at home!

Monday, May 11, 2020 at 10 am
Instagram: @elder_gallery_clt | @jessicasingermanfineart
Based in Winston-Salem, NC and inspired by a deep passion for the outdoors, cycling and traveling, Jessica’s work was first featured at the gallery in the 2018 March Invitational. In the 2019 exhibition Beyond the Mountain, Jessica’s paintings surrounded her impressive Paper Mountain installation composed of 1,000 hand-folded origami cranes.

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